"Rise of the Triad: The HUNT Begins" is the shareware version of the original Rise of the Triad, developed by Apogee Software.
Unlike many other shareware games of the time which were distributed via the Scott Miller model, The HUNT Begins is a separate episode that serves as a prequel to the retail game. As Taradino Cassatt, member of the High-risk United Nations Taskforce (HUNT), the player must infiltrate the stronghold that El Oscuro's followers have established on a small island in the Gulf of Santa Catalina, and shut down their operations.
The gameplay remains unchanged in the shareware version. As it was meant to showcase the various features of the full game, some of the enemies and obstacles encountered in The HUNT Begins actually only make their first appearance in episodes two and three of the Dark War. That way, the shareware version allows to sample a substantial portion of the game's arsenal, enemy roster, items, traps and other obstacles.